Tom Keighley

Creative industries should lead ‘Copyright Hub’

Creative industries must play their part in leading and funding a proposed national Copyright Hub, a marketplace for copyrights.

In an independent report, Richard Hooper, former deputy Chair of Ofcom, looks at the feasibility of developing a Digital Copyright Exchange.

The marketplace would streamline copyright licensing and make transactions easier for creators, rights holders and users, according to Mr Hooper.

Its main purposes would be to act as a signpost and navigation mechanism; a go-to for copyright education; the place where any copyright owner can choose register works; the place for potential licensees to go for easy to use, transparent, low transaction cost copyright licensing; and as one of the authoritative place where prospective users of orphan works can go to demonstrate they have done proper, reasonable and due diligence searches for the owners of those works before they digitise them.

Hooper said: “If the UK is to maintain and improve its position as world leader in the creative industries then it needs an efficient and responsive system to manage the use of creative rights.

“Setting up an industry led and industry-funded Copyright Hub will help maximise the potential for creators and rights owners on the supply side and the wide range of licensees and users on the demand side.

“Creating a single marketplace for copyright licensing would not only reduce the costs of licensing and simplify a complex system that can be difficult to navigate but would also bring together key players to have a more effective exchange and use of rights. This will only help boost economic growth, ensuring that both the industry and consumers are making the most of the UK’s creativity.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable added: “The idea of a ‘copyright hub’ is an ambitious undertaking and one that could clearly yield great benefits for the UK’s creative industries and consumers. It is potentially a ground-breaking step forward that will help make copyright licensing fit for 21st century.

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